By Terver Adom
Senior Special Assistant to the Speaker on Special Duties
Since its inception in Nineteen-seventy-six, the Benue State House of Assembly has in the past produced twelve Speakers. It was in this line of succession that on Monday, June fifth, Twenty-twenty-three, history was again made in the hallowed Chambers of the State Assembly Complex in Makurdi the State capital where the newly inaugurated Members of the Assembly, elected Hyacinth Aondona Dajoh as the Right Honourable Speaker of the tenth Assembly.
The new Speaker who is the representative of Gboko West also known as Gbemacha Constituency, was voted into the State parliament on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
It is instructive to note that the emergence of Dajoh as the State number one lawmaker did not come to many as a surprise considering his wide acceptability by his colleagues across partisan and even nonpartisan divides. In a keenly contested Speakership race, Dajoh polled seventeen votes to defeat his opponent and Member representing Gboko East Constituency, Mrs Becky Torkwase Orpin who scored fifteen votes.
The voting process for the Speakership position at the Assembly Chambers was dramatic as the first ballot ended in a sixteen to sixteen votes tie between the two candidates, Mr Dajoh and Mrs Orpin. Clerk of the Assembly, Barrister Bernard Nule therefore called for another round of voting which was also canceled on account of the rowdiness which arose from complaints of interference by some members against their colleagues.
The Assembly Clerk subsequently announced a recess to enable printing of new ballot papers and at about Three-twenty PM on that day, the third and final round of voting was conducted which saw Mr Dajoh emerged the new Speaker, while Member representing Ado Constituency, Mrs Lami Danladi later emerged unopposed as the Deputy Speaker.
Born on June fifth, Nineteen-Seventy-six at NKST Christian Hospital, Mkar, the new Speaker of the State Parliament, Right Honourable Dajoh hails from Mbadajoh, Mbasur, Mbaanku District of Mbatiav in Gboko Local Government Area. His father is Elder Nzuul Anshibi Biam Dajoh and his mother is the late Mama Sarah Mbahunan Nzuul, daughter of Kposu Agera Nyia of Mbaade, Mbagen, Buruku Local Government Area of Benue State.
The Speaker had his elementary education at Saint Francis Primary School, Gboko East, RCM Primary School, Abwa and later completed at LGEA Primary School, Tyoadu, Mbatiav where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate in Nineteen-eighty-nine. In the same year, he was admitted into the then Government Secondary School, Garagbohol. He had a stint at Saint John’s Secondary School, Gboko and later obtained his Senior School Certificate at Kyaan College, Gwarche in Tarka Local Government Area in Twenty-fifteen.
Determined to acquire higher education, Speaker Dajoh enrolled at the Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo earning a Diploma in Business Management in Twenty-eighteen. He also studied at Fidei Polytechnic, Gboko between Twenty-nineteen and Twenty-twenty-two for his Higher National Diploma (HND) in Business Management specializing in Marketing and subsequently gained admission into Nasarawa State University, Keffi for a postgraduate Diploma in Business Management.
The tenth Benue State Assembly helmsman worked with the Revenue Department of Gboko Local Government Council for over two decades and resigned in Twenty-twenty-two to contest for the Gboko West State Assembly seat winning by landslide. As a community driven leader, with deep love for communal development initiatives, Speaker Dajoh at various times served Mbatiav Youth and Jemgbagh Youth Associations respectively as a Secretary and actively championed noble causes for the common good of the communities.
A progressive minded leader, an exceptional team player and result oriented person, Dajoh emerged to the Speakership office with a legislative agenda of championing pro-development and people-centered legislations which shall ensure the seamless delivery of good governance, towards meeting the yearnings and aspirations of Benue people whose mandate the Thirty-two-member composition of the State Assembly holds in public trust.
In his inaugural address shortly after taking his oaths of office and allegiance, Speaker Dajoh acknowledged that a smooth working relationship between the Legislative, Executive and Judicial arms of government was desirable for good governance in the State. He affirmed that his emergence as Speaker of the Assembly was a huge responsibility placed on his shoulders and called for unity amongst his colleagues, stressing that there is strength in unity.
The Speaker expressed commitment to ensuring that the tenth Assembly under his maintained due diligence on checks and balances in line with meeting Assembly’s constitutional obligations of representation, lawmaking, and balancing the power of the executive or oversight functions.
We therefore urge Benue people to rally round the new Speaker and all Members of the Assembly to succeed in making meaningful laws that will drive the policies and programmes of the State Government under the watch of the Governor, Reverend Father Hyacinth Iormem Alia whose election as the sixth Governor of the State has rekindled hope in the masses that Benue State shall triumph over the forces of underdevelopment.
As we applaud Members of the tenth Assembly for the right choice of a forward thinking Speaker, we pray to God to grant President Bola Tinubu, Governor Hyacinth Alia, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume, Speaker Dajoh and all Members of the Assembly the wisdom and the good health of mind and body to perform their duties conscientiously as patriots in service to their fatherland.